In July I will be publishing a collection of short stories. The title of this creation is ‘Tales From The Scribe – A collection.’ I have drawn inspiration for it from this blog and I have loved writing these stories. I hope you will too. When I am able, I will be posting links on where to buy the collection and I really hope you enjoy.
For now, here is a teaser. The first chapter of the first story ‘Journey of Cerdiwen’ Please leave a comment/review😀
Journey of Cerdiwen
Breathing harshly the woman ran towards the forest, the full moon lighting her way. Her long fair hair was wild and loose, the ends catching on the clasp of her torc. Twisting her head, the woman tried to see how close the pursuit was but it was too dark to make out anything far away. Turning back, she struggled to reach the relative safety of the forest. Her dress pushed against and around her legs, making it hard to run as the wind howled. The harshness of the weather blew away the cloak that covered her scantly covered body revealing that she wasn’t alone, for in her arms she held a child.
Her heart thudded almost painfully as she reached the forest, in the distance the shouts of alarm and chase could be heard. The woman put more speed in her step for she couldn’t get caught – it would mean war. She ran straight into the one place that most people would never follow her into, the sacred forest. Trees eclipsed her and the night grew darker as the moon was blocked out. Rustling was to be heard as the night animals smelled an intruder. The woman looked back over her should not seeing the magnificent oak tree root that was in front of her. Her foot caught the exposed root and she curled her arms around the sleeping babe and took the full force of her fall on her leg. The woman went white as a loud crack was heard then a sharp lancing pain ran through her leg.
‘Oh Epona, please don’t let them find her.’ The woman prayed as she tried to move her broken leg without much success. Crystal tears started to flow down her cheeks as she thought of all she had just been through, all that she had known had been torn away from her in a matter of months. All because of her idiot brother Efnisien who had mutilated the horses of the peace offering.
The woman managed to move herself into a sitting position next to the oak and looked at her daughter.
Fair of hair like herself and the woman knew she would have her other talents as well.
‘I don’t know whether you would consider them a curse or a gift, but they are yours my darling daughter.’
The child opened her eyes and the woman stared transfixed at her daughters deep green eyes then the child yawned and closed her eyes once more. The mother let lose a sob and put her hand to her mouth so she wouldn’t wake up the child.
‘Please if you are listening out there, please by all that’s holy save her. She’s only a child.’ The woman bowed her head and waited, as the sounds of pursuit got closer.
‘What if she could be saved child, what would you give for that to happen.’ A female voice broke into the woman’s despair. Her head shot up and her nostrils flared in terror as her eyes widened. Before her stood the very deity she had been praying to, Epona the Goddess of Power. She walked to where the child lay in her mothers arms and gently touched her face and repeated her question.
The woman answered immediately, ‘My life.’
The Goddess waved that suggestion away ‘Your life is already forfeit. I ask one last time if she could be saved, what would you give for that to happen?’
The sounds of the dogs braying were closer every second she wasted, the woman then sighed and told her,
‘I would give my service to you.’
The Goddess’s red eyes gleamed and she smiled, ‘Done. You and the child will be saved. Now your husband approaches. You will go back with him and prepare to end this war.’
The woman was shocked by what the Goddess was telling her to do.
‘Go back? How can I go back? He abuses me every day. He blames me for Efnisien breaking the treaty.’
The Goddess simply stated, ‘You think to know the mind of a God? Mortal woman this war is draining and tiring. You Will go back and you Will be my instrument. I will keep my promise – your daughter will be safe. Your brother Bran comes with an army. You must convince your husband to use the Cauldron of Plenty against the Blessed Bran. It will be the only way to end the feud.’
The woman’s mouth opened and shut in horror. That is why she ran away, so she would not be used against her brother. She had heard tales from the servants who delighted in telling her that Matholwch will kill him when he comes to shore.
‘No! I won’t’ She shook with the force of her denial.
Epona smiled and it was terrible to behold. ‘Branwen, sister of the Blessed Bran. You will do as you’re told. Gods see more widely than mere mortals. Trust in me to look after you. Do as I have bid and all will be as it is meant to be.’ The Goddess leant over the woman’s hurt leg and a bright green glow infused her hands and healed the broken bone in place.
Then she straightened holding her hand out to Branwen,
‘I grow weary of this plane, give me your child and I will depart.’
Branwen cradled her daughter, not wanting to give her up. The little girl sighed in her sleep and slowly with my heartbreak gave the Goddess her child. Epona took the babe in hand and then they were gone. Branwen cried, her grief inescapable.